Field Journal Entry #2

Date: 02/06/20



Mount Tamalpais State Park, Mill Valley US-CA (37.8797,-122.5550)

GGNRA– Redwood Creek (stakeout Dusky Warbler 2015)

81 Seacape Dr, Muir Beach US-CA (37.8630,-122.5854)


Site description:

The first site we went to, Mount Tamalpais State Park, had chaparral-covered ridges and grasslands. In the area we explored there were generally few trees and only low altitude shrub life. The key bird species found here was the American robin. The second site we went to was Redwood Creek. The site we visited consisted of the edge of a forest clearing along with a fairly dense set of trees. The key bird species was the Chestnut-backed Chickadee. The final site we visited was Muir Beach. The site we visited consisted of a seaside cliff with shrubbery and a few trees.


Species account:

Peregrine falcon- The peregrine falcon is the fastest bird alive. They catch prey mid-flight, preferring pigeons and shorebirds. they have very sharp wings adapted for high-speed flight. They also have various plumages based on a variety of factors, some of which include environment and landscape. Generally, they nest in high altitudes and maintain most of their lifestyle in those higher altitudes. Their general habitats include coastlines where they can find their preferred prey of shorebirds. We found the peregrine falcon a couple hundred meters or so meters up in the air, riding a warm air current to gain altitude while conserving energy.



We arrived at the first location Mt. Tam, around 8:57am. There were supposed to be some white-crowned sparrows but we did not get to spot any. We stayed for about 56 min and then progressed on to the next location. At Redwood Creek, I finally got to observe a peregrine falcon firsthand, granted that it was hundreds of feet up in the air. Still, it’s not everyday you get to see the fastest bird alive. We also got a good glimpse of a woodpecker, which was very intriguing to me seeing as when I observed it, it was not pecking wood. At the final destination, Muir Beach, we got to see a gray whale- that was awesome and extraordinarily lucky for our first time. The weather was beautiful all day and the skies were clear- all in all, the perfect weather for a day of birding.




Field Journal Entry #1

Date: 1/30/20

Location: 37°46’28.5″N 122°27’17.8″W

Site Description:

We visited Golden Gate Park. The park consists of various landscapes, but the area where we mostly traveled was a sparse mixed coniferous forest. The coniferous trees were not densely packed and there were large bushes and logs around the ground floor. The key bird species are Anna’s hummingbird, the Bushtit, the Dark-eyed Junco and the Golden-crowned Sparrow. Anna’s hummingbirds are generally found above the bushes around 20 feet up. Bushtits, Dark-eyed Juncos and Golden-crowned Sparrows generally stay low to the ground to forage for food.


Species Account:

Common name- Anna’s Hummingbird

Scientific name- Calypte Anna

Physical appearance- Vibrant green body with gray wings and reflective magenta head.

Microhabitat- Found in generally open areas on tips of branches in low elevation trees. It was found on the corner of Golden Gate Park that is located right next to St. Ignatius Church. The bird were seen right at the beginning of the trail on that corner.

Mating Ritual- The mating ritual is actually quite interesting as the males court the female by doing an intricate dance. They fly up into the air and then suddenly zip back down in a U-shaped path. This continues until the female accepts or declines.

Sources: E-bird, Professor Paul



We left the school at around 10:10am. We arrived at the park around 10:20 and only walked in the same corner of the park that was closest to St. Ignatius Church. For the total two hours we were there, we probably didn’t even walk a quarter of a mile from the corner of the park. We saw a plethora of birds in such a condensed area. The weather was actually quite sunny and clear. It was quite amazing to see how many birds are just all around us all the time. This experience was like one of the times where you don’t really know how much stuff is out there until you experience it.

Link to E-bird:

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